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R. Drew Smith

Rev. Joseph Lowery with Rosa Parks

Undaunted Resistance: Joseph Lowery and the Spirit of SCLC

By Editors' Choice

By R. Drew Smith, AAIHS — Against all odds, a movement for racial justice took hold in mid-20th-century America, emerging from within the racially-heated South, and drawing sustenance from a rich-array of Black religious sources. A cadre of activist Black clergypersons were among the central figures in this historic social movement, with organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) epitomizing the promise of a socially-mobilized Black clergy sector. Although SCLC…

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy in St. Augustine, Florida. June 1964.

‘Until We Are All Free’: Learning from Tubman, King, and Stevenson

By Commentaries/Opinions

All of them returned to the South’s frontline struggle for racial justice. By R. Drew Smith — In 2020, January remembrances of Martin Luther King Jr. are occurring against the backdrop of two high-profile films emphasizing sacrificial servant leadership. First, the film Harriet provided a renewed focus on celebrated abolitionist Harriet Tubman. This biopic chronicles her mid-19th century enslavement in Maryland, her daring escape to a hard-won freedom in Philadelphia, and her…

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R. Drew Smith Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Co-Convener, Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race

National Reconciliation Without Accountability Rings Hollow

By Commentaries/Opinions

By R. Drew Smith Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Co-Convener, Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race — Twenty-five years ago, Nelson Mandela was elected South African president after serving 27 years in prison for leading resistance against racially-oppressive apartheid rule. During that same moment in April of 1994, a horrible tragedy was unfolding further north on the African continent as longstanding ethnic grievances within Rwanda irr

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